Give and take.

Throughout my martial art career I have come across different attitudes to training, one of these particular attitudes is that if you cannot take the punishment you should not be doing Ju Jitsu, there is no place for the weak students within this martial art. Usually the Instructors that say this are 7ft tall and made of solid muscle or they have an ex service career, (Para’s, royal marines, special services etc) and have a homicidal mentality of kill or be killed. This type of instructor (or student because they have to get their black belt from somewhere) does not need a martial art. Who in their right mind would start a fight with someone that was 7ft and made of muscle, they were probably the school bully and liked to hurt people using their brute strength.

My attitude is that Ju jitsu should be taught to everybody and even more so if the individuals are of a weaker or slender build because they are more likely to need it in a confrontation.

So during training, students are organised into groups for different training drills, then you find an element whilst training who wish to force the lock or throw fast and hard. You tap like a machine gun and then it is your turn, then they do the same thing again, again until the joint or the body starts to ache and for what, to boost their ego? But how much pain should an individual take, I have met some who can dish the pain out but not take it. One example was with a certain throw that has many variations, ranging from very soft to murderous. As usual when I train somewhere else I let him go first and he took great pleasure to bury me into the mat, I got up and did a nice version which would not hurt him and show that I was not a threat. But then it was his go and again he buried me even though the less painful versions are always taught first. So as I got up I threw him with the nasty version and finished as it had been taught and he had to go to the side to rest. I was not proud of what I was forced to do, but if he is able to dish the pain out he should be able to take it as well.

Within any martial art accidents can occur quite easily without someone causing an accident because they wish to boast their ego. So how much pain should we take? Do we tap as the joint is destroyed or do we tap in anticipation of the lock? How can the person doing the technique know whether the lock is effective or not? The answer I think lies in the ability to be able to do a technique on another person with control and not rushed, there is no reason to rush a technique because your partner is allowing you to do the action with no resistance or counter attack. So the only reason I can see why someone would rush a technique is to try and injure the other person. I place controls on higher grades when doing throws, because With throwing techniques you can either lower your centre of gravity or add a vertical force when throwing which can cause the throw to be more dangerous and thus be a potential accident waiting to happen. I tell the high grades that it is a simple thing to add on, so we do not need to throw like it all the time and thus I have averted any accidents

Locks are more difficult because I have found strong people can hurt, even though the technique is completely wrong or has not yet been concluded, for these people I would say lose your strength whilst learning or you will find that you will be unable to do the correct technique. , Only the other person knows how much the lock is hurting. So a safe way to do locks is to slow down and to care about the well being of your partner and apply the lock gradually.

For some locks there is a pain level

Level one: The partner can feel their joint being manipulated at this stage there should be no pain.

Level two: The partner can now feel the firmness of the lock and he knows at this stage if the lock is on or not.

Level three: The partner can now feel the pain at the joint, and taps. Some at this stage try to fight the pain to say it was not on at this stage the joint has been twisted or straighten to cause the pain.

Level four: Now either the muscle tissue surrounding the joint is damaged or the joint itself maybe damaged. This pain will be with you for a while, if they have only done the lock once, later in life you may have joint problems.

If the locks are done quickly you can see that the time period between level 1 and level 4 could be hundredths of a second and then the damage is done. Whereas if it is taken gradually it is increased to tenths of a second and you have time to tap before any long lasting damage is done. When I am demonstrating I will ask if the lock is on, this is usually at level 2 and the answer is usually no, with that I enter level 3 and they tap straight away. When working with lower grades, females or juniors it is best for other person to go down to their level of strength. So by using less strength you will gain by using more technique and by going slower you may notice other things that that could be used, remember you partner whether male or female is not there to resist you, they are there to help you.